Leeds kids on ‘ice crater’ fears

CONCERNS: Residents who are angry that developers have left them with a crater that fills with water.
CONCERNS: Residents who are angry that developers have left them with a crater that fills with water.
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Children have been dicing with danger in a ‘crater’ filled with iced-over water.

A number of youngsters have been spotted by concerned residents on The Pastures estate, in East Ardsley, playing and even riding bicycles over thin ice gathered at the bottom of a steep-sided drainage bed.

Two beds, which are supposed to remain dry, were dug without planning permission last year to drain water from the recently-built estate. Resident Charlotte McGahey fears that the larger bed, which is around 250ft long, filled with water and froze over twice this winter, could cause a tragedy.

The mum-of-two, 37, said: “It is a big danger. It’s worrying that younger children might copy that behaviour – it would be catastrophic.

“It’s not like something that’s happened overnight, it’s been going on for a number of months now.”

Water rings and ‘danger deep water’ signs were put on the site last year, as it emerged the drainage system was built higher than the larger ditch’s water line.

The developer, Bloor Homes, has sent in several retrospective planning applications relating to the ‘craters’, their most recent was deemed unacceptable by Leeds City Council in November.

Ms McGahey said: “They knew the drainage system wasn’t working and the water was staying put, it should have been dealt with straight away.”

Disputes between residents and the developer have been raging for four years over incomplete roads, a failure to build another exit from the estate and the beds.

Coun Lisa Mulherin (Lab, Ardsley and Robin Hood) said: “As a mum myself, I share the concerns of local residents and I’m as keen as they are to have that situation resolved – I don’t think it’s safe for children.

“I think it is a matter of urgency and has been for at least two years.”

She said she is organising a meeting of residents and councillors to view the developer’s latest proposals in March.

A Leeds City Council spokesman said that Bloor Homes hope to present plans to amend the beds at the meeting.

He added that the developer sent surveyors to the site two weeks ago.

Bloor Homes declined to comment.

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